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Beat the MOT rush and book now, drivers urged

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Drivers are urged to book their MOTs this summer to beat hundreds of thousands of motorists who will need a test once they’re no longer covered under the coronavirus exemption rules.

Drivers were granted a six-month exemption from MOT testing in March.

But as lockdown restrictions are eased, drivers whose vehicles are due an MOT test from 1 August will be required to get a test certificate to continue using their cars, motorcycles and vans.

The RAC is urging drivers to ‘beat the rush’ and get their vehicles through the annual safety check this summer to avoid joining hundreds of thousands of others who have held off getting theirs done as they made use of the six-month exemption.

The call comes as data reveals just 746,157 MOTs were completed in April, down from 3.7 million in March.

Further, RAC research of its garage network revealed that 93% of members expect demand to increase from October when the first cars that had their MOTs automatically extended need testing.

Right now, 71% are reporting good MOT and service availability but by October, 70% of the 228 garages polled anticipate more demand, making it difficult for some drivers to get their cars checked before the MOT expires.

Although every vehicle due an MOT between 30 March and 31 July is granted a six-month extension, drivers are under no obligation to make use of it.

But with so many more cars than usual needing their MOTs from October, drivers may need to book a week or two in advance, while others may need to wait around a month for a slot.

RAC head of motoring services, Adam O’Neill, said: “In many ways this is an ideal time for people to get their cars booked in for an MOT – whether they’ve already taken advantage of the automatic extension or not. Our garages have yet to see demand return to pre-lockdown levels, but if drivers wait until the autumn they’ll be trying to arrange MOTs at the same time as hundreds of thousands of others.

“Understandably, demand for MOTs and servicing fell sharply after the coronavirus lockdown as garages closed and the government instructed all of us to stay at home. But as the lockdown has started to be eased, drivers may be left wondering whether now is the right time to be getting their cars checked over, or whether making use of the MOT extension is the best course of action.

“The message from us is simple – our garages are fully open and all are operating to our Covid-19 code of conduct to help keep customers and staff safe.”

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